New Delhi, May 6: Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday sought to know from the Modi government that how it plans to lift the nationwide lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Sonia Gandhi also asked the government that on what basis it will decide whether the countrywide lockdown should continue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the nationwide lockdown in March, which has been extended till May 17. India's COVID-19 Count Rises to 49,391, Death Toll Mounts to 1,694.

"After May 17th, What? and After May 17th, How?...what criteria is the government using to judge how long the lockdown is to continue," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala quoted Gandhi as saying during her meeting with Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohn Singh also attended the meeting through video conference and sought to know the government's strategy to get the country out of lockdown. COVID-19 Lockdown 3.0: Here is What's Allowed, What's Prohibited in Green, Red, Orange Zones.

What After May 17? Asks Sonia Gandhi on Lockdown 3.0

"We need to know, as Sonia ji said, what will happen after lockdown 3.0? Soniaji has already pointed out. CMs need to deliberate and ask as to what is the strategy of Govt of India to get the country out of lockdown?" Dr Singh said at the meeting. Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states said they need a financial package from the central government to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the economy.

"Until extensive stimulus package is given, how will states and country run? We have lost  Rs 10,000 crore of revenue. States have repeatedly requested Prime Minister for a package but we are yet to hear from," Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was quoted as saying. States are facing a dire economic crisis. They need to be provided immediate assistance," Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his Pudducherry counterpart V Narayanasamy expressed anguish at classification of areas in red, orange and green zones by the Centre. "Government of India is deciding on zones without consulting the states and this is creating anomalous situation. People sitting in Delhi can’t tell the States, No state or CM is consulted. Why?" Narayanasamy said.

Amarinder Singh echoed Narayanasamy's views and said: "Concern is people sitting in Delhi are deciding on classification of zones without knowing what’s happening on the ground." "We have set up two committees, one to strategise on how to come out of lockdown and other on economic revival," he conveyed to Sonia Gandhi.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 06, 2020 12:01 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website